Auto Racing: NASCAR Hall of Fame nominations announced

The latest auto racing news from Thomas Coughlin Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Categories: Sports

I will change from the local scene this week, as NASCAR has released the names of its 2021 Hall Of Fame nominees. I will start off with the Landmark Award.

According to the NASCAR press release, Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitor’s or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Here are the nominees:

  • Janet Guthrie. The first female driver to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series superspeedway race. Guthrie was also the first female to qualify and compete in both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.
  • Alvin Hawkes. NASCAR’s first flagman, established NASCAR racing at the historical Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with Bill France Sr.
  • Mike Helton. Named as the third president of NASCAR in 2000, career included track operator roles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Remains a member of the Board of Directors.
  • Dr. Joseph Mattioli. Founder of the Pocono Raceway. Known as the Tricky Triangle, located in the mountains near Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
  • (William) Ralph Seagraves. Formed the groundbreaking NASCAR-Winston partnership while serving as an executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

The Modern Era Ballot and Landmark Award nominees were selected by the Nomination Committee, which consists of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks.

The Moder Era Hall Of Fame nominees are:

  • Neil Bonnett. Driver with 18 Cup Series wins.
  • Jeff Burton. Driver with 21 Cup Series wins.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Driver with 15 Cup Series wins.
  • Carl Edwards Driver with 28 Cup Series wins.
  • Harry Gant. Driver with 18 Cup series wins.
  • Harry Hyde. Cup Series championship crew chief.
  • Larry Phillips. Only driver to win the NASCAR weekly series National Championship five times.
  • Ricky Rudd. Driver with 23 Cup Series wins.
  • Kirk Shelmerdine. Cup Series championship crew chief.
  • Mike Stefanik. Driver with nine championships, two Busch North Series and seven Whelen Modified Tour wins.

The new Honors Committee, largely comprised of all living Hall Of Famer’s, Landmark Award winners and the Squire-Hall Award winners, selected the Pioneer Ballot. Both committee’s votes were tabulated by an accounting firm.

The Pioneer Ballot includes:

  • Jake Elder. Three-time championship crew chief.
  • Red Farmer. 1956 modified champion and three-time late model sportsman champion.
  • Banjo Matthews. Car builder, whose cars won 250 races and three championships.
  • Hershel McGriff. 1986 NASCAR West Series champion.
  • Ralph Moody. Two-time Cup Series championship car owner.

To say the least, it is very interesting how some of these choices were made. If you have ever been involved with a selecting committee, many times it comes down to who made the best or most in-depth presentation for a particular nominee.

I hope that we will be racing soon, so. Stay healthy, stay safe and stay home.

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